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Transparency

The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 (the Code) came into effect on 1 April 2015. The Code is issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in exercise of powers under section 2 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, and replaces any previous codes issued in relation to authorities in England under those powers.

The Code does not replace or supersede the existing framework for access to and re-use of public sector information provided by the:

  • Freedom of Information Act 2000 (as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012)
  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004
  • Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005
  • Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community Regulations 2009
  • Sections 25 and 26 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 which provides rights for persons to inspect a local authority’s accounting records and supporting documentation, and to make copies of them.

Hook Parish Council meets the definition of a local authority covered by the requirements of the Code, defined as ‘a parish council which has gross annual income or expenditure (whichever is higher) exceeding £200,000’.

The Code requires local authorities in England to publish the following information quarterly:

The Code requires that local authorities must publish details of every transaction on a Government Procurement Card.

For each transaction, the following details must be published:

  • Date of the transaction
  • Local authority department which incurred the expenditure beneficiary
  • Amount
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) that cannot be recovered
  • Summary of the purpose of the expenditure
  • Merchant category

Hook Parish Council does not use a Government Procurement Card and therefore has no information to publish.

Additionally, local authorities are required to publish the following information annually:

Local authorities are already required to make their constitution documents available for inspection at their offices under section 9P of the Local Government Act 2000. Local authorities must also, under the code, publish their constitution on their website.

Hook Parish Council’s constitution is made up of the Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and Code of Conduct, which can be found by clicking on the links below.

  • Standing Orders
  • Financial Regulations
  • Code of Conduct

 Local authorities are already required to publish, under the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, the following information with regard to senior salaries:

  • The number of employees whose remuneration in that year was at least £50,000
  • Details of remuneration and job title of certain senior employees whose salary is at least £50,000
  • Employees whose salaries are £150,000 or more must also be identified by name

In addition to this requirement, local authorities must place a link on their website to this published data or place the data itself on their website, together with a list of responsibilities (for example, the services and functions they are responsible for, budget held and number of staff) and details of bonuses and ‘benefits-in-kind’, for all employees whose salary exceeds £50,000.

Hook Parish Council has no staff members whose salary is £50,000 or greater.

The Code requires that local authorities must publish the pay multiple on their website, defined as the ratio between the highest paid taxable earnings for the given year (including base salary, variable pay, bonuses, allowances and the cash value of any benefits-in-kind) and the median earnings figure of the whole of the authority’s workforce.

The measure must:

  • Cover all the elements of remuneration that can be valued
  • Use the median earnings figure as the denominator, which should be that of all employees of the local authority on a fixed date each year, coinciding with reporting at the end of the financial year
  • Exclude changes in pension benefits, which due to their variety and complexity cannot be accurately included in a pay multiple disclosure

Hook Parish Council’s pay multiple as of 31st March 2024 is 2.25

The Code requires that local authorities must publish details of the value of social housing stock that is held in their housing revenue account.

The following social housing stock data must be published:

  • Valuation data to be listed at postal sector level.
  • Valuation data for the dwellings using both existing use value for social housing and market values as at 1 April.
  • An explanation of the difference between tenanted sale value of dwellings within the housing revenue account and their market sale value

Hook Parish Council does not hold and social housing stock and therefore has no information to publish.

The Code requires that local authorities must publish the following information on trade union facility time:

  • Total number (absolute number and full time equivalent) of staff who are union representatives
  • Total number (absolute number and full time equivalent) of union representatives who devote at least 50 per cent of their time to union duties
  • Names of all trade union represented in the local authority
  • A basic estimate of spending on unions
  • A basic estimate of spending on unions as a percentage of the total pay bill

Hook Parish Council has no staff members who are union representatives and therefore has no information to publish.

The Code requires that local authorities must publish on their website, or place a link on their website to this data if published elsewhere:

  • A breakdown of income and expenditure on the authority’s parking account, including details of revenue collected form on-street parking, off-street parking and Penalty Charge Notices
  • A breakdown of how the authority has spent a surplus on its parking account

Hook Parish Council has no chargeable parking and therefore has no information to publish.

The Code requires that local authorities must publish the number of marked or controlled on and off-street parking spaces within their area, or an estimate of the number of spaces where controlled parking space is not marked out in individual parking bays or spaces.

Hook Parish Council has no controlled parking spaces and therefore has no information to publish.

The Code requires that local authorities must publish the following information about their counter fraud work:

  • Number of occasions they use powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014, or similar powers
  • Total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud
  • Total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of professionally accredited counter fraud specialists
  • Total amount spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud
  • Total number of fraud cases investigated

Hook Parish Council has no staff members undertaking fraud investigation work and therefore has no information to publish